Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Requiescat in Pace

Grandpa, Born July 9, 1926, died June 14, 2010


Last week, I received a phone call from my dad.  He called to inform me that my grandfather had passed away.  I was shocked to find this out.  Though he was in his 80's, Grandpa was a spry individual who was always doing something.  I don't think he rested one bit during his retirement.  Everyone expected that he would have been with us for a few more years.  It was ironic because we had planned to go up and visit him over the Father's Day weekend to do some work and help him cut and stack logs for his fireplace.  Now, he has passed on.  I was told that he passed away peacefully while he slept. 

I am deeply saddened because Grandpa was a man I could always look up to.  He was a loving husband, father, and he was a great grandfather to me and the rest of us kids.  He always had a funny joke to tell, a good story, and he was never idle. 

He was an all American kind of guy.  He was very patriotic and he loved his country.  He fought in two wars to protect our great nation, yet he was a very gentle, softspoken man.  Grandpa had an insane work ethic.  He wasn't one to sit around on his butt.  I knew him after he was officially retired from being a teacher, but in retirement, he spent a good number of years fishing on his boat in Alaska.  He wasn't one to ask for handouts and he would not let on that he was upset or anything very often.  He was the kind of man that took what the world dealt him and made the best of it - and boy did he do good with his lot.

Grandpa is loved by all who knew him.  If anyone ever needed a good role model in their lives, it was he.  Grandpa showed me, through example, what it took to be a real man in many ways.  He was a very longsuffering individual who through his patience and hard work, achieved anything he put his mind to. 

In the last few years of my grandmother's life, Grandpa took care of her with incredible devotion and love.  He would sacrifice everything to take care of her and he walked through hell and back to ensure that she was comfortable and had a good quality of life when she was sick.  That kind of love and devotion is a rarity in this day in age.  Grandpa knew what it took to really love someone and he proved it time and time and time again.  It was rumored that Grandma lived as long as she did only because Grandpa cared so much for her. 

This is a man worth your attention.  He earned my respect long ago when I was an adolescent trying to find my place in this crazy world.  I would like to think that some of his qualities have imprinted themselves onto me, but in my humility, I would venture to say that I could never be the man he was.  If I could be but half the man he was, I would be satisfied. 

Grandpa loved his life.  He lived a long and worthwhile life and while his passing brings about tears of sadness, his life is one that will be celebrated for many years to come.  His legacy is an honorable one.  Grandpa, I wish you well in the next chapter and will do my best to honor your memory for as long as I am on this earth.

May he rest in peace.

-James

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